Joseph O'Brien 4 p.m., March 29
Local Biotech Executive Lied about Test, Says SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged today (June 2) that Elizabeth A. Dragon, former senior vice president of research and development at biotech Sequenom, lied during at least three public presentations to analysts and investors. She claimed that Sequenom's prenatal test could predict "whether a fetus had Down syndrome with almost 100% accuracy," said the agency. But she knew that the test was "far less accurate" than that, said the SEC. When Sequenom later announced that it was no longer relying on Dragon's data, the stock plunged 76%. Without admitting or denying the charges, Dragon agreed to a consent decree that permanently enjoins her from future violations of securities laws and bars her from serving as an officer or director of a public company. A court will determine later the amount of financial penalty Dragon will have to pay.